Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park is an impressive place where you will find the largest cave in the world, Son Doong. Mountains, lakes, caves, jungles and exotic wildlife, this destination has it all. Phong Nha is a paradise for adventurers. Colossal caves are perhaps the main attractions, but linger longer and Phong Nha reveals hiking trails, remote country lanes and rivers that are perfect for kayaking.

5 reasons to visit Phong Nha

  1. Explore one of the many impressive caves.
  2. Stay overnight in a tent in a cave.
  3. Walk through the pristine jungle.
  4. Kayaking over small rivers
  5. Explore the National Park by bicycle or motorbike

Practical information

In short

Region

Central Vietnam, Quang Binh province

Recommended travel days

3 days

Vietnamese name

Vườn quốc gia Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng

Best travel time

  • The best travel time: From June to August. These are also the hottest months.
  • December to February: These months can be considerably colder.
  • The flood season is normally from mid-September to mid-November each year and is periodic and not continuous. Be sure to check the weather forecast in advance before traveling to Phong Nha. Severe flooding affects the availability of tours.

Money

There is an ATM in Son Trach, but it is wise to take enough Vietnamese dong with you.

What to see and do in Phong Nha

Best things to do

The Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a Limestone region, consisting of 300 (discovered) caves, which has quite rightly won a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Of the 300 caves, a number have been made accessible and renamed as a tourist attraction.

1. Hang Son Doong Cave
Discovered in 2009 and is the largest cave in the world. It has its own ecosystem with a rain forest of trees up to 30 meters high, with its own population of bats, birds and monkeys.

2. Paradise cave
Discovered in 2005 and so called because of its incredible cathedral-like stalagmite and stalactite formations. The cave is 31 kilometers long with rooms up to 100 meters high.

3. Phong Nha Cave
The cave that gives its name to the national park, and is the most popular cave in the region. With a boat you sail over an underground river.

4. Dark Cave
More a nice adventurous half-day than an impressive cave. With ziplines, swimming through the cave, lots of mud and kayaking.

5. Hang En Cave
This cave is one of the most photogenic caves in the national park. The wide entrance opens directly into the lush jungle and light shafts illuminate a lake with a sandy beach.

6. Tu Lan Cave
The Tu Lan cave system is another adventurous cave, with underground waterfalls, green lakes, beautiful stalagmites and stalactites.

7. Hang Va Cave
Part of the Son Doong cave system because of their shared water flow, and contain rock formations that are even more impressive.

8. Ten Song Cave
The Tien Son cave is also 100 meters above the Phong Nha cave and can only be reached via a long steep staircase.

9. Tra Ang Cave
Tra Ang is one of Vietnam’s most recently discovered caves and it was only opened to visitors in 2016. In that time it has received minimal visitor numbers.

10. Pygmy Cave
This cave has only just been opened to tourists and therefore there have really only been a few tourists. It is said that this is the fourth largest cave in the world.

Most popular activities in Phong Nha

Favorited experiences, day trips and tours in Phong Nha booked by fellow travellers.

Ho Chi Minh City street food tour

Ho Chi Minh City street food tour

$34.00
  • Taste some of the best street food
  • No need to research safe street food places and finding the best dishes.
  • Discover how locals live and eat.
Cai Be floating market Mekong Delta tour

Cai Be floating market & local Mekong Delta tour

$72.00
  • Learn how to make coconut candy, pop-rice, rice paper.
  • Visit fruit orchard and listen to traditional Vietnamese.
  • Visit local market and join a cooking class.
  • Make a bicycle ride through a village.
  • Visit a local pagoda and ancient house.
  • Rowing sampan along busy canals
Vespa city & Food Tour Ho Chi Minh City

Saigon City & Food Tour on a vintage Vespa

$68.00
  • Explore the city as a local; on the back of a motorbike; amazing experience!
  • Flexible trip: choose 3-5 places to visit.
  • Enjoy the best local food the city has to offer.
  • Discover famous and off the beaten track sights.

Accommodation in Phong Nha

Where to stay

Son Trach (Phong Nha Town) – Son Trach the gateway to the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. This one-street village is growing every year to support the growing number of tourists that arrive every year. You will find a number of decent hostels, 2 – 3 star hotels, new budget accommodations and small family-related homestays that offer a more personal experience.

Dong Hoi – The closest town to Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park. It is approximately 45 km away. There are many comfortable and cheap hotels in Dong Hoi and on the beach.

Best hotels & hostels in Phong Nha

Budget hotels & hostels

  • Easy Tiger Hostel
  • Phong Nha Gecko Hostel
  • Thao Nguyen Homestay
  • Phong Nha Midtown Hotel
  • Linh’s Homestay

Mid range hotel

  • Phong Nha Coco House
  • Jungle Boss Homestay
  • Phong Nha Lake House Resort

High end hotel & resort

  • Victory Road Villas

Food & drinking

Restaurants

The restaurant scene of Phong Nha is limited. But if you like the flavors of Vietnamese country cuisine, you can eat very well here. There are also a few options for international cuisine in the city. Most guesthouses serve tasty local dishes.

  • Phong Nha Underground
  • Omar’s Namaste
  • Nguyen Shack Art café & Restaurant
  • Capture Vietnam Cafe
  • Phong Nha Bamboo Cafe
  • Lantern Vietnamese Restaurant

Nightlife

If you want to get the best out of your time in Phong Nha, you may want to go to bed early and get up early. But if you are determined to party, go to the backpacker area.

1.Jungle Bar
2. East Hill

4. Bomb Crater Bar
5. Andy Bar & Disco

Transportation

How to get there?

Plane

You can take a flight to Dong Hoi and then travel by bus or taxi to Phong Nha.

Bus

There are three major bus companies that run night buses to Phong Nha from Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An and Da Nang: Hung Thanh, Queen Café and Camel Travel. Tickets can be obtained at all hotels and hostels in every major city in Vietnam.

Train

The nearest train station is in Dong Hoi. The train tickets can be booked at the train station or online. Dong Hoi train station is approximately 1.5 km from the bus station. From Dong Hoi you can take a taxi or bus to Phong Nha (Son Trach).

How to get around?

Motorbike – Driving around the national park is not recommended for inexperienced drivers. There are several motorcycle rental companies on the main street, including Thang’s Phong Nha Riders alongside Easy Tiger. Also hotels and hostels rent out. Rental costs around 150,000 dong per day.

Easy Riders – You jump on the back of a motorbike driven by local guides, and they show you the best of what Phong Nha has to offer. It is highly recommended if you want to explore the countryside, make a beautiful drive through the national park, the botanical garden or the Bong Lai valley, with unpaved roads.

Tour – Tours are the best way to see much of the National Park; in fact, in many cases it is the only way to see some parts of the National Park, especially the caves. Tours are also the best way to travel through the jungle; guides will safely show you some of the best routes while you get information about the park, history, cultural information and much more.

Private transportation – If you are a family or just want to keep things very easy, it is possible to rent a driver’s car and minibus to take you to all local tourist destinations.

Itinerary 2 days Phong Nha

Day 1

On the first day you visit Paradise cave and Phong Nha cave.

Day 2

Go to the Dark Cave in the morning on day 2. In the afternoon you explore the Phong Nha Park yourself on a motorbike or on the back with an Easy Rider. You can also visit the botanical gardens or view the Mooc eco route if you want to see more of nature in Vietnam.